Mary Bly (a.k.a. Eloisa James) Talks to TIME About Her Literary Double Life

By day, Mary Bly is a highly credentialed (Harvard, Oxford, Yale) Shakespearean scholar and professor at Fordham University. But when no one is looking, she transforms herself into Eloisa James, author of 21 romance novels, 17 of them New York Times bestsellers. Under her nom de plume, she has 6 million books and e-books in print in more than 20 countries. Bly’s multiple roles don’t end there: she is also the daughter of award-winning poet Robert Bly and the late writer Carol Bly, the wife of Alessandro Vettori—the chair of Rutgers’ Italian department—and the mother of two teenagers.

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